Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Exporting/ Importing: The Office


Modern globalization of media has united texts through their differences. A prime example of this is originally Brittish sitcom, The Office, and its American remake. The two variations of the show depict this idea of success through adaptation. Through adaptations of national identity, the two shows embrace the cultural differences in a successful comedic manner. Though the American version has lost some of its "Britishness," the humor presented in the sitcom is one that applies to its primarily American demographic. Reducing some of its raunchy and less appropriate comedy, the show has become a more acceptable variation, I feel.

In Alexandra Beeden and Joost de Bruin's article, they analyse both variations of the show and discuss how the success of television format adaptation correlates with the ability to reflect and interpret new context. Despite global success of the genre, clear differences present themselves through contextmsuch as characters, situations, and mainly humor. the humor of both shows is what best represents the national culture of each sitcom. This is a prime example of this format adaption. Though it seems that the growth of format adaptations reflects the increasingly globalized modern era, they simply encourage articulations of national identity and cultural expression. Thus, I believe that The Office provides evidence for globalization as cosmopolitanism rather than cultural imperialism. This sense of cultural belonging is so boldly expressed through both variations, more so uniting us as a single community than dividing us between the variations themselves. 

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